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“In the third trilogy of Forsyte chronicles the story centres on cousins of Michael Mont, mainly on his mother's side, the Charwells who are socially somewhere bordering on landed gentry and aristocracy, unlike Forsytes who made their way up from farmer to various money making professions...”see full review » see other reviews »
“In the third trilogy of Forsyte chronicles the story centres on cousins of Michael Mont, mainly on his mother's side, the Charwells who are socially somewhere bordering on landed gentry and aristocracy, unlike Forsytes who made their way up from farmer to various money making professions (solicitor, investment manager, builders, stockbrokers and more) to artists and gentry of leisure. Being upper caste in England amounts to being bred and brought up to notions of service to the country and accordingly the Charwells are occupied with work dealing with law, church, and so on, when not with actual landownership including caring for the tenants and other residents of the land. Mostly the three parts focus on Dinny, Elizabeth Charwell, an attractive young woman of Botticelli beauty with a sensitive heart and capable mind who cares for not only her own family and clan but anyone around who might need her, and does the care taking actively with initiatives, meeting people and speaking to them, and more.
In Flowering Wilderness she meets and falls in love with Wilfrid Desert, a friend of her cousin Michael who had fallen in love with Fleur in the White Monkey and left for east to disentangle himself, and Wilfrid is in love with her just as much, except that unfortunately he has been in a circumstance where forced to choose between life and conversion he had chosen life and thus disgraced all of his countrymen, endangering them to future kidnappings and disdain from those under British rule. This cannot be considered suitable for Dinny by her family and clan, and the story cannot be kept quiet, not the least due to the pride and sense of uncertainty Desert has about his own actions, and it ends up in her heart breaking with him leaving for east once again.
One of the major beautiful things about Forsyte Chronicles - all three trilogies, but the first and third in particular - is the love of the author for beauty of England in general and countryside, nature in particular. Very lyrical. The other, more subtle, is the depiction of society in general, upper middle class of English society in particular and the times they lived in in the background, empire on distant horizon until the third trilogy where it is still in background but a bit less distant.
The society changes from the first to the third trilogy but not radically, and in this the author is successful in portrayal of how things might seem radically different superficially but are closer to where progress began, and progress being slow in steps that various people pay heftily during their lives for.
“Much of the vim and focus of the earlier Forsyte Saga is missing here, as other reviewers have pointed out. But it's important to realize this is a trilogy of its own, not meant to continue the Forsytes' story. As such, it is a deeply interesting study in its own right. All in all, I find the Charwells a more likable bunch than the Forsytes. And Galsworthy's gently ironic prose remains a delight. But that aside, it's the meat he offers, the discussions of meaningful societal and moral problems, that creates the most interest. Galsworthy seems to approach matters from an agnostic, and possibly even atheistic, view, but he does a good job of asking questions, rather providing answers, and as such, the book offers worthwhile food for thought whatever your personal views.”K.M. Weiland wrote this review Wednesday, September 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No